Monday, May 18, 2009

bread crust and lessons in trust

When M was about 18 months old, she spontaneously started rejecting bread crust. (Remember this is a time when kids become naturally more suspicious of foods, so formerly accepted foods are often rejected.) She was clumsy with it and ended up leaving 1/3 of the bread. We decided to minimize waste and started to cut off the crust– a practice we have kept up for about 2 years now. Our meals are pretty relaxed, and we don't get into food struggles. The other day she asked for a bite of my toast (it also had jam which she hasn't been too interested in yet.) I held it up for her and she took a big bite, with crust. She chewed, swallowed, and practically yelled, "Mommy, I like crust!!!" She then asked for a piece of toast, with "just butter and crust, no jam." (Our reaction, was a calm, "OK.")
This morning, however, she informed us that she was back to not liking crust. Our reaction, though a little more difficult this time, was a calm, "OK."

Its enough to drive you crazy. They are not rational. My husband has to hold himself back when she baits him into battles. I can read his mind,  "you liked it yesterday, you will eat it!" Or that he knows she'd like jam if she gave it a chance. Its not worth it. 

Kids pressured to eat more, eat less, and its a lot less fun being at a table where there are constant food battles and negotiations. It doesn't have to be so hard. 

So, follow the trust model, don't get sucked into the battles, reply with a calm, "OK" when they insist that they hate a food they loved yesterday. Keep serving your family food. 

I trust, that one day again soon, she will eat crust again, and until then we will enjoy our time at the table where she eats most of everything else we give her. (Some after one or two exposures, some after literally dozens...) Hang in there.


  1. We battle that daily. It seems there is always an old favorite that suddenly becomes 'disgusting.' I spent 4 years (with my oldest) battling food. I finally calmed down about it and offered her food, but didn't react if she didn't want it. So tough for me, but it made a world of difference for us, too.

  2. great news! Alas, abnormal feeding and eating are the norm. I think we get so caught up in the battles, and its what we see all around us that we don't understand that it doesn't have to be so hard. Its why my motto is "taking anxiety and conflict off the menu." This is the message I'm trying to get out there. Meals can be pleasant, and the less you push, the better kids will eat. Its almost like quick sand-the more you struggle and exert yourself, the more you sink. Thanks!

  3. Good to see it's normal... Chiara is actually saying things like "I don't like broccolis TODAY". I hope tomorrow she will, again !